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[i]Baumgartner lifted off Thursday for a test jump from Roswell, N.M., aboard a 100-foot helium balloon. He rode inside a pressurized capsule to 71,581 feet — 13.6 miles — and then jumped. He landed safely, according to project spokeswoman Trish Medalen.
He's aiming for nearly 23 miles this summer. The record is 19.5 miles.
Thursday's jump was a test of his capsule, full-pressure suit, parachutes and other systems. A mini Mission Control — fashioned after NASA's — monitored his flight.
Baumgartner reached speeds of up to 364.4 mph Thursday and was in free fall for three minutes and 43 seconds, before pulling his parachute cords, Medalen said. The entire jump lasted eight minutes and eight seconds. She stressed that the numbers are still unofficial.[/i]
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